Bright light therapy may improve happiness in seniors

A new study has revealed that bright light therapy may be instrumental for senior citizens who are hoping to prevent depression during their retirement living. Researchers found that symptoms of the condition were lowered by as much as 54 percent by the treatment, according to

This indicates that those who are unable or have chosen not to take antidepressants may soon have a viable alternative.

"Bright light treatment may provide a viable alternative for patients who refuse, resist, or do not tolerate antidepressant treatment," researcher Ritsaert Leiverse, MD, wrote in the Archives of General Psychiatry, according the news source.

A total of 89 older adults with depression participated in the study.

Bright light therapy may improve happiness in seniors Half were treated with bright light therapy for three weeks - which consists of a pale blue light - while the other half were given a red light.

After the study finished, researchers found that depression was lower in the test group. Stress also decreased and sleep quality improved.

Light therapy is accomplished by sitting or working near a device that mimics natural or outdoor light, according to The Mayo Clinic. It is traditionally used by those affected by seasonal affective disorder, but this study suggests that the treatment may be useful to others as well.

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